J. S. Bach on the Wire-strung Harp

J. S. Bach on the Wire-strung Harp This instrument is NOT just for Irish tunes and Renaissance Faires!!

Hier haben wir den Kapellmeister, Herrn Johann Sebastian Bach. Wir hören nicht so gerne, dass die irische Drahtharfe von manchen immer wieder als “Renaissance Faire” instrument bezeichnet wird. Nein! Wir spielen, soli Deo gloria! On my new Argent Fox double strung harp with a full set of Truitt sharping levers, it is possible to play […]

Harp Ornaments

Harp Ornaments (the carved wood kind)

My Argent Fox double-strung harp was originally planned to have wood carvings added to it but that final touch was overlooked as other concerns took precedence preparing for the harp’s delivery in fall 2022. This spring I decided it was time to revisit that forgotten detail and complete the visual aesthetic of the harp. My […]

Harps in memory of our beloved kitties...

Harps in memory of our beloved kitties…

After two months of carefully changing out my bronze wires for copper phosphor bronze ones and bringing my double-strung harp up to tension (currently at A=390, Baroque pitch), my newest wire harp is ready to make his grand appearance at our Christmas Eve services! In the harp world, we tend to give our harps a name. […]

Restringing my Double Wire Harp part III

Restringing my Double Wire Harp part III Bringing up to pitch & tuning

If you’ve been following along, you’ve been reading about my wire harp restringing project over the past two months. It’s gone quite well, with all the bronze monofilaments replaced with copper phosphor bronze wires. Some of the strings original to the harp broke at the tuning pins as I carefully removed and I noted these […]

Thoughts on playing a cross-strung wire harp

Thoughts on playing a cross-strung wire harp How you can play one too!

Since my double strung harp is out of commission for the time being, I’ve been relying on my lightweight (10 lbs.!) Esabelle harp to come to church with me every Sunday. Playing her on a weekly basis has certainly helped improved my technique! Cross-strung (X) harps are usually not wire; they normally have nylon strings instead […]

Restringing my Double Wire Harp, part II

Restringing my Double Wire Harp, part II half done...

My last batch of replacement wires have arrived for my harp and I’ve learned from my string maker Laurie at Markwood Strings (highly recommended by the way!!) that the old strings which were breaking so much are bronze only. My new ones are copper phosphor bronze alloy and Laurie very kindly provides them with the […]

Pipe Organ and Wire Harp

Pipe Organ and Wire Harp A How-to for Your Church!

Almost every Sunday, unless husband George has to be away (substituting at another church, playing the carillon for Convocation or Commencement at either of his two colleges), he’s playing the historic pipe organ at our church. Preludes, postludes and hymns. With, of course, wire harp accompaniment!   If you happen to have a spouse, friend […]

Forest Harp

Frequently Breaking Harp Strings Restringing my harp...

At the moment my now-primary church harp is Esabelle, my cross-strung wire harp. Here she is: She’ll need to be my prelude/postlude/Communion/hymn accompaniment harp for the foreseeable future, because: 1. She’s lightweight 2. She can be quickly carried in a nice green weatherproof bag for those torrential rainy Vermont mornings (see #1) 3. In the […]

Irish Wire Harp at Communion

Irish Wire Harp at Communion Source of Melody...

My favorite time to play my harp during Sunday morning church service is at Communion. At our church, members are invited to come up and gather in a circle around the altar after our priest elevates the Host, breaks it and begins to distribute it to each in turn, saying: “The Body of Christ, the […]

My Paraguayan Harp

My Paraguayan Harp Mi Arpa Paraguaya

Here is my Paraguayan harp. It actually belongs to my husband George Matthew Jr., who bought it at a church fundraiser some years ago when he was living in CT. I’ve done some research on it and discovered it was built by Adelio Ovelar of Asunción, Paraguay sometime in the early 1980’s. It was my […]